“Thank you for your recent update to parents regarding the college application process in the third year Aerospace class. This class is positively excellent on multiple levels and you are clearly doing a wonderful job of connecting with the students. Katy has come home many a night regaling us with what took place in your class that day. She is always excited; she recalls large portions of the day’s curriculum; and it is evident that the students (not just Katy) are learning skills for a lifetime. The types of exercises you have them do are precisely what is needed throughout adult life. Thank you for everything you do to make this third year class not just another class, but a stellar, standout class that students will look back on and appreciate.”
~Helen Babineau, Parent of Katy ’20
Randolph-Macon Academy is the only private school in the United States that offers the Air Force Junior ROTC program. All Upper School students participate in this program. AFJROTC is “taught” in the form of a class for Aerospace Science. Students “live” out the lessons learned in these classes by practicing Leadership and Character Development. Students who excel in these areas are part of the “Cadre” group of each graduating class.
Leadership & Character Development: Cadre
Cadre Summer Leadership School
Summer Leadership School (SLS) attendees are selected among rising juniors and seniors who are prepared for their assigned leadership positions in the Corps for the upcoming year. Students learn about basic drill instruction, uniform and personal appearance, team building, discipline and respect, honor, and leadership. Many activities include visits to D.C. monuments, visits to military installations or activities, and laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The Performance Team is comprised of several individual units that augment the corps of cadets. These units include the color guard, the drill team (armed and unarmed), the honor guard, and the sabre team. Each provides an invaluable service both R-MA and local organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
The Honor Guard is made up of eight cadets; one commander and seven cadets carrying rifles. They perform the ceremonial 21-gun salute during the Academy’s Annual Alumni Memorial Service, all home parades, and several local military events honoring our veterans.
The Flag Corps carries all 50 state flags during all home parades as well as parades in the local area. It is comprised of our freshman and selected upper-class cadets. The flag corps unit is a main component of our parade unit.
The Sabre Team consists of nine cadets; one commander and eight cadets who form the sabre arch. They perform the ceremonial arch during Homecoming, the Military Ball, and the Coronation of the Queen during the local Apple Blossom Festival.
“Sophomore year, I joined drill because I did Color Guard for half a year in Civil Air Patrol, but I stayed because I felt at home with the coaching that Sgt Laing gave me. I love Drill because it still feel like family, because even if I fail, they want me to succeed. On the drill team, it’s a matter of you succeeding, your effort, and that has taught me the truest lesson in life: that nothing good comes that you haven’t earned yourself. We’re all works in progress, but when it comes down to it, R-MA’s drill team is one of R-MA’s many programs that have taught me the importance of self-discipline, because you can’t change anything before you change yourself. All of this is what R-MA means to me.”
-Nathaniel Chichester, ’19
The Yellow Jackets Drill Team is a student-owned and student-led competition team that not only earns championship titles, but comes together as a family committed to supporting one another on all of the challenges life has to offer. As Coach TSgt Tina Laing will attest, the cadets are successful because of their teamwork, family commitment, hard work ethic and strong team morals and values. The cadets are learning far more than basic drill movements, they are learning life skills; by being committed to a team, they develop both followership and leadership skills, all while never leaving a teammate behind.
The Yellow Jackets Drill Team consists of several performance teams including Inspection, Armed and Unarmed Regulation, Armed and Unarmed Exhibition and Color Guard. The Inspection Team reports to a judge and performs Open Ranks Inspection while the judges examine their uniform in accordance to AFI 36-2903 and quiz the cadets’ AFJROTC and USAF general knowledge.
The Regulation Teams are a marching unit that performs routines based upon a preexisting military drill card identifying simple drill commands to be executed in sequential order and performed in accordance to AFMAN 36-2203.
The Exhibition Teams are a unit that creates their routine, typically ranging from six to nine minutes, based upon precision drill movements. The Color Guard team consists of two flag members and two armed riflemen who perform a sequence of drill movements identified on a drill card and performed in accordance to AFMAN 36-2203 and Army Publishing Directorate TC 3-21.5.
2018 – 2019
2019 AFA Virginia State Drill Team Champions
- 1st Place, Armed Exhibition
- 1st Place, Color Guard
- 2nd Place, Armed Regulation
- 3rd Place, Inspection
- 4th Place, Unarmed Exhibition
- 5th Place, Unarmed Regulation
2019 AFJROTC National Drill Meet, Dayton, OH: Overall 8th Place
- 1st Place Duet, Gabe Rivera ’19 and Rana Diallo ’19
- 6th Place (of 630 cadets), Knockout Competition, Masaru Mori ’19
- 7th Place, Color Guard
- 8th Place, Inspection Team
- 10th Place, Commander’s Trophy (Rana Diallo ’19)
- 13th Place, Unarmed Regulation
- 13th Place, Unarmed Exhibition
(R-MA did not compete in the Armed events at Nationals.)
2018 Yellow Jackets’ Invitational Drill Meet: Overall 2nd Place
- 1st Place trophies in 1st Year Color Guard, Unarmed Regulation, Advanced Color Guard
- 2nd Place trophies in 1st Year Inspection and Armed Regulation
- 3rd Place trophies in Unarmed Regulation, and Advanced Inspection
- Knockout competition: Jacob Gehly ’20 earned 1st Place and Citlaly Sosa ’20 won 2nd Place
2017 – 2018
2018 AFA Virginia State Drill Team Champions
- 1st Place trophies in Unarmed Regulation, Inspection
- 2nd Place trophies in Armed Exhibition and Unarmed Exhibition
- 3rd Place trophies in Armed Regulation and Solo Nathan Stewart ’20
- 4th Place trophy in Color Guard
2018 R-MA Yellow Jackets Invitational Drill Meet: Overall 1st Place
- 1st Place trophies in Advanced Unarmed Regulation, Armed Regulation, and 1st Year Inspection
- 2nd place trophies in Advanced Color Guard, Advanced Inspection, and 1st Year Color Guard
- 3rd Place trophies in 1st Year Unarmed Regulation
2017 Wolverine Invitational Drill Competition
- 1st Place Armed Regulation
- 2nd Place Unarmed Regulation
2016 – 2017
AMCSUS Silent Drill Competition: 3rd Place
2016 Wolverine Drill Competition
- 1st Place trophies in Unarmed Regulation and Inspection
- 2nd Place trophies in Color Guard
- 3rd Place trophy in 1st Year Unarmed Regulation
2016 AFA Virginia States Drill Competition: Overall 6th Place
- 3rd Place Unarmed Regulation
- 4th Place in Color Guard
- 5th Place in Armed Exhibition
The Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) program is grounded in the Air Force core values of Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence In All We Do. The objectives of Air Force Junior ROTC are to:
- Educate and train high school cadets in citizenship
- Promote community service
- Instill responsibility, character, and self-discipline
- Provide instruction in air and space fundamentals
- The curriculum emphasizes:
- The heritage of flight
- Development of air power
- The aerospace environment
- Human requirements of flight
- Aerospace vehicles
- Principles of aircraft flight and navigation
- The space environment, space programs, space technology, rocketry, propulsion and the aerospace industry
- Military customs and courtesies
- Flag etiquette
- Citizenship in the United States
Curriculum opportunities include:
- Academic studies
- Character education
- Life skills education
- Leadership opportunities
- Team-building experiences
- Intramural competition
- Field trips / training opportunities
- The elements of survival, first aid, health, wellness, and fitness
- Basic drill and ceremonies
- Effective communication, management, human relations, and life skills
To reinforce what is learned in the classroom, cadets participate in several outside activities such as field trips to military bases, aerospace facilities and industries, and museums. Cadets also participate in parades, leadership schools, drill competitions, military balls, honorary academic groups and community activities. Each academic course consists of Aerospace Science (AS), Leadership Education (LE) and Wellness components.
Leadership & Character Development: Cadre
The First Year
In the first year course for all underclassmen new to Air Force JROTC are taught:
- Air Force customs and courtesies
- How to properly wear the Air Force uniform
- The rules and regulations of the Cadet Manual
- Basic drill movements
- How to conduct the daily military ceremonies
AFJROTC instructors and experienced cadets ensure new cadets understand military organization and the importance of maintaining the standards of discipline and conduct essential to the effectiveness of a military unit.
Leadership and Character Development
A vital part of the AFJROTC curriculum is leadership and character development. At each level, from new cadet through our highest-ranking cadet leader, students receive focused, timely and effective schooling in leadership principles, teamwork, effective communication techniques and character traits of selflessness, service and integrity.
The most challenging opportunity for R-MA cadets is holding a position of leadership within the Corps. Cadre Leadership Training is an opportunity each summer for selected, highly motivated juniors and seniors to engage in practical leadership training. The weeklong course demands the best from participants as they strengthen their leadership skills and learn the value of teamwork and a positive attitude. Cadets work together in small groups to solve prepared problem situations, compete in drill events, and prepare to teach new cadets. Cadre training culminates with a formal promotion ceremony. Cadets who graduate assume the top leadership positions in the Corps and train and mentor new and returning cadets who subsequently fill the remaining Corps positions.
The Corps is led by cadet officers and non-commissioned officers under the supervision of the AFJROTC staff. The cadets exercise daily leadership and management of the student body during the academic year. Together, seniors and juniors conduct the day-to-day operations of the Cadet Corps in terms of drill practice, parade preparation, dormitory and classroom leadership, and the structure of military life on campus. Cadets develop “people skills” to accomplish daily tasks with their peers.
In the classroom, cadets work on written and oral communication skills. Cadets are videotaped and allowed an opportunity to critique their individual performances to improve their public speaking skills and self-confidence. Stimulating discussions serve as a forum to broaden understanding and to prepare cadets to accept leadership and managerial roles within the cadet corps in subsequent years. Discussion topics include
- Group dynamics
- Stress management
- Leadership and management principles